Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Staycation Time

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We have recently had company and enjoyed a little "staycation" time. It seems that we don't have a lot of opportunity to visit the myriad of attractions, restaurants and such. So I have made it a point to visit as many "local" businesses catering to tourists as possible. In the past month we have visited Dollywood, the new Hollywood Wax Museum, Lumberjack Feud, Alewine Pottery, The Old Mill Square, the shops in Walden's Landing, Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery (where one of the bands on our September lineup can be seen performing quite often), Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, The Village in Gatlinburg and the big one.....The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Julie and Eliza visited Ripley's Aquarium last week with some friends. And Joe has been seen at Cherokee Trading Post on Hwy. 66. We've checked out a small restaurant caled Taste of Dandridge and felt like we had discovered a little gem nearby. Being located near the 407 exit, we are just a short drive from major tourist destinations as well as being close to some favorite local hangouts. Hopefully, some of our bluegrass patrons will be able to spend some time exploring this area so rich in variety whether glitz and neon is your "thing" or whether laid back and out-of-the way is more to your taste. You'll find a little of both nearby. Just let us know what you are seeking and if we don't have the answer, the local chambers of commerce/visitor centers will have the answers for you.
Festival time is going to be here soon. Have you made your reservations and plans? Better git-r-done! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goodbye, Andy..............

This photograph is from a tribute by Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer. I found it in a Facebook post. The following is a summary of some of my own thoughts evoked by the occasion of the passing of Mr. Griffith:If I'm still and close my eyes for just a bit, I can hear the screen door slam, the hum of a table fan cooling off the house and maybe even smell the aroma of Mamaw's peach cobbler in the oven. Those summertime sensory experiences certainly are still pretty vivid...........the smell of freshly mown grass and the vinegar that ultimately got smeared all over my sunburned limbs when I stayed outside too long. After all, why on earth would anybody want to go inside when they could play in the yard with friends until dark and even after dark? Certainly, not me. I would ride my bike as long as my parents would let me. Not sure if it was the thrill of the wind in my hair or listening to the clickety click clack of those baseball cards (held in place by simple wooden clothes pins) flipping on the spokes that lured me out on that old cruiser bike. I wish I still had that bike with it's big old seat, fenders and foot brakes. And even though I didn't live in Mayberry, I think the community where I lived during the early to mid '60's could have been a close second. Life seemed much simpler then until the JFK years came along with the Bay of Pigs, duck and cover drills and having to wear dog tags to school one year just in case those bad guys attacked our nation. And it wasn't too long after that when we were shocked by the images on the nightly news showing what was happening on the other side of the world in Vietnam. But all the while we still had Andy and Barney, Aunt Bea with her gracious manners, Opie, Gomer and Goober. A person can learn a lot from Mayberry. I suppose I was an adult before I really truly understood the timelessness of those shows. We still watch and enjoy them. And I am glad to know that I can scroll through the channels on the cable listings and find it almost any time of day or night if I need a Mayberry fix. Wouldn't it be great if we could live in a place where it wasn't necessary to lock the doors, our children could safely play with their neighborhood friends as everybody's Mama was watching out for them. I suppose I should take off my rose colored glasses and get a reality check. Technology has taken us forward by leaps and bounds but there are some things that would be nice to revisit. And many of those things can be found right there in those Mayberry reruns. I'm thankful for the entertainment those folks provided and know that everybody's friend, Andy, will be missed.

Website Update

If you are looking for some information on this year's event, you're in luck. The only thing I haven't posted yet is a schedule of set times for each band. That will come soon. In the meantime you can go to and find the schedule of bands and other information. Also, if you are interested in volunteering for positions such as parking or manning wristband checkpoints, shoot us an e-mail and we can discuss it. The e-mail address is: I'm also thinking of having a booth where our Facebook fans can meet each other and take photos, etc. If you have any ideas for that, I'd like to hear them. I know we have a bunch of folks who attend our festival and have "liked" our page but don't actually know who a lot of the "friends" are so it would be a good time for them to meet each other. Don't forget the potluck dinner on Wednesday evening at 6pm. We always have a good time doing that. And we look forward to it. Now that you know that our website is updated, head on over there and check it out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just Around The Corner................

Yes, it is just around the corner. Of course, I am referring to the 13th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival. In just a few weeks we will be transforming our little corner of Kodak into a bustling festival site. I'm already looking forward to fresh kettle corn, Steve's brisket and the many other items offered by our vendors. And then there is the music, music and more music! But best of all will be the presence of some new residents of Kodak. And that would be our "kids" who have finally moved back to Tennessee from Colorado. Some of you may recall that I had just become a grandparent last year just prior to the festival. that little baby is here with us and we are anxious for you to meet her. Naturally, we've been thinking about which instrument will get pushed her way first. ha ha I hope she's a bluegrass fan! So far it looks like she is but I will admit that one of her favorite tunes is Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven"! :) Maybe all the live music will influence her choice.
Welcome Home, Winter family!